Financial research consultants F&TRC has launched a new comparison service for financial advisers, para-planners and networks who advise clients on critical illness (CI) cover.
Advisers will be able to compare CI policies based upon the quality of cover provided and includes the views of independent medical experts.
The service’s initial assessment includes the conditions that account for over 99 per cent of adult critical illness claims and will soon include children’s critical Illness and a range of other options.
Ian McKenna, director of F&TRC said: “We regularly talk to advisers who are concerned about the complexities of critical illness policy wordings and are worried about not recommending the right products.
"By making the views of independent medical experts an integral part of our research software we can make it easier for advisers and networks to quickly recognise and compare the differences between potentially complex policies.
"It will also enable adviser to be confident they are offering the most suitable option based on the client’s requirements, including a qualitative assessment rather than just based on price.”
F&TRC also hopes its data will assist networks and larger distribution firms with panel reviews and help networks and nationals to address conduct risk issues by "giving them a mechanism through which they can ensure all their advisers approach protection on a consistent basis".
Mr McKenna called the launch a significant step forward to aid regulatory compliance and assist with taking more control over appointed representatives, a requirement the FCA has highlighted.
Patrick Connolly, certified financial planner at Chase de Vere said: “Critical illness and protection products generally are undersold, in part this is because product conditions and benefits aren’t readily understood.
"While there have been significant improvements in terms of the consistency of wording used by product providers, this service, with analysis from medical professionals, has the potential to be really useful in helping advisers make recommendations, or at the very least to sense check the recommendations they are making.”
F&TRC’s Quality Analyser also compares the full range of product features for protection products including mortgage protection, level term, income protection and business protection.
F&TRC said it will shortly be publishing ratings of each leading insurers adult critical illness condition for males and females and all the other protection products included within its services.